Stanley Cup Playoffs rd.1: It's not the RS anymore! - 4/17/2019

For 2019 NHL Playoff releases please access the "Hockey" tab at the top of the webpage.

Daily results only posted here, for all Future and up to date accounting please access the 'Profitablity' tab.

I clamor each year at how wide open the rules are for the regular season of the NHL. I also believe handicapping only the playoffs is a fiscally sound approach for me as the game they play in April for the playoffs is quite the opposite of the style and form of hockey game they sleep walk through in the regular season.

So far this early playoff season results stand: 11-6 +5.96u (all results may be found by accessing the 'Hockey' tab at the top of this page, scroll down to daily releases/results.). Later today I’ll release tonight’s playoff positions. Keep those elbows up in the corners puckheads.

Profitable Sports Gaming

Money Morning: Puck Profitability & UFC recap - 4/15/2019

*All #NHL Playoff releases may be accessed by hitting the "Hockey" tab at the top of this page


Welcome Puckheads to NHL Money Morning recap. The first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs has been outstanding thus far in producing profuse profitability despite having to face some risk in the Tampa Bay series wager we released.

Daily releases as well as all previous positions are displayed by accessing either the “Hockey” tab at the top of this page or the “Profitability” tab located again on the top of the webpage.

Let’s account before we change focus right back to banking bottom line on mangy, unwanted NHL mutts.

Round 1 results: 9-3 + 7.16u

These are simply the daily releases for round I. All future releases can be found by accessing the “Hockey” tab as previously stated.

Puckheads, I’ve been profusely passionate for Hockey since I was a kid and been wagering on it since then also. I cannot say that these playoffs will continue to produce profit at the sizzling pace I am realizing now but make little mistake that keeping this pace of profitability is my single point of focus and that by the end of this Tournament all followers will understand that this is business…. A successful profitable one at that!!

UFC profits were handsome last weekend also as I realized a 2-1 +1.90u result.

2019 UFC to date: 19-27 +2.30u

This is business people. If you are interested in accountable, reliable, ethical and as importantly PROFITABLE sports gaming then you have stumbled onto the correct webpage!

Account or your profits will never amount…..

Profitable Sports Gaming

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs: Round I - 4/14/2019

For 2019 NHL Playoff releases please access the "Hockey" tab at the top of the webpage.

Daily results only posted here, for all Future and up to date accounting please access the 'Profitablity' tab.



Leafs -100; Stars -100

balance to date: 6-3 +4.15u


Isle's +110; Jackets +250 (half); Blues +110

balance to date: 6-1 +6.15u


Leafs +125; Av's -100

balance to date: 3-1 +2.7u

please note that my site grades all future releases as losses until completion. fYI.


Stars +145; Isle's +100

2-0 +2.45 u

Profitable Sports Gaming

UFC 236 Holloway vs. Poirier: Busted up in Buckhead - 4/13/2019

* For Saturday NHL please access the 'Hockey' tab at the top of this page

Welcome fight Enthusiasts to UFC 236.

Hot’Lanta hosts the UFC today, on this card are a couple of outstanding ‘Interim’ title fights but we’ll call them as they are…without the greasy UFC spin; elimination fights.

UFC profitability so far this season while in the positive are not as I demand. That said this racket is a long term grind so if you are a dedicated fight enthusiasts and choose to follow my selections, I will pledge to you that over the long haul you may not get rich but you will produce profit.

Those that tend to hit and run or spot wager will love me some days but berate me on others based on the results of any one particular card. 2019 UFC profitability while monitored weekly is tabulated in final form in December so the focus today and each UFC card is to produce positive profitability, tabulate the results then focus forward.

Below is my breakdown of the two main events for UFC 236 followed by updated comments now that we’re just hours from the bouts. Good Luck to all.

Let’s Fight

(All releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business).

--originally published 4-10-19 Point Spread Weekly—

Welcome Point Spread Weekly readers to UFC 236 which will take place in Atlanta, Ga this Saturday evening. The Thirteen fight card begins at 3:15PT with the main card kicking off at 7pm PT.

The main card features two outstanding five round Championship fights, each highly competitive match-ups determining who will be awarded the UFC ‘Interim Championship’ which basically means the winner fights the current recognized champion for the ‘official’ belt later in the year.

Max Holloway -200 vs. Dustin Poirier +175 Lightweight Championship (155lbs.) Main event

This fight will be action packed as each man completes his task in the Octagon by out striking the opponent. In this instance each man’s approach to striking varies which provides the intrigue and suspense for this lightweight fight.

Holloway is the current Featherweight (145lbs.) Champion moving up to Lightweight as he’s cleaned out the Featherweight division. Usually there are questions revolving around moving up in weight but recent UFC history proves that the tactic can be a benefit to the fighter for they are refreshed and possess better stamina when they rid themselves of the burdensome task of cutting dynamic amounts of weight. Case in point IS the 6’1” Max Holloway who is a guy that walks around normally at 190 lbs. and is unusually large for a Lightweight let alone his previous division where they fight at 145 lbs.!

Holloway’s UFC debut seven years ago was a short notice submission loss to no other than Dustin Poirier who at the time Poirier was well the more complete fighter and mature individual. Flash ahead to today however and all realize that Holloway has developed exponentially and is trying to make a make as an all-time great UFC fighter. He is now more complete in his fight arsenal, he’s thicker, he more mature and at twenty-six years old he’s in the prime of his career.

Holloway is a Boxing based Muay Thai, BJJ fighter but let’s make no mistake here, he’s a striker. He employs precision striking and he throws in volume and from angles with movement. He is equip with the cardiovascular conditioning to fight for five hours let alone five rounds and his best work comes from moving the opponent backwards which allows him to increase output and apply his own pressure.

Holloway does need distance to punch at peak performance so his footwork and movement are critical to his success for he must not allow Poirier to impose himself rather it’s Max that eventually must force Poirier back.

The first couple of rounds in this fight will be interesting as each man will look to force their will on the other. Max will need to weather the early storm from Poirier and handle his power and pressure with the plan that he will be able to deal with Poirier’s pressure, keep his distance and pepper Poirier with straight strikes.

This strategy (the belief is) is one that will systematically wear the pressing power puncher Poirier down. This is Holloway’s first go at 155lbs. so that, coupled with the fact that Poirier has been fighting grown men in the Lightweight division and finishing them for four years is one key to this fight in my judgement.

If this fight is to go Holloway’s way, it will be in the later rounds where he will have navigated that early unrelenting pressure from Poirier and straight strike Poirier over time and in accumulation to slowly take the fight from him. Holloway’s damage comes from volume strike accumulation and he’ll need the time necessary to inflict it as I do see Poirier’s durability and size to be something Holloway will need to adjust to.

Poirier is a well-rounded mixed martial artist but at heart he wants to utilize power hooks crosses and uppercuts to immediately press the fight and force Holloway into a brawl (which Max may just acquiesce to). Poirier uses those hooks and crosses to inflict damage (as opposed to straight precision strikes like Holloway) and he chooses to stand more flat footed and square to his opponent in order to put power combinations together with bad intentions.

I see this fight going Poirier’s way early to be honest as he’ll be fresh and willing to attempt to impose his will on Holloway. Holloway will be large for this new division but I believe he’ll need time to adjust to the size and power of his opponent which I also view as important to the outcome of this fight.

How Holloway adjusts to Poirier’s pressure and early pop will go a long way in determining if he’ll be able to survive the early onslaught, create/maintain striking distance and turn the tables on another fighter in the prime of his career.

Holloway currently holds the Featherweight title and is looking to poach another while Poirier has been toiling, tussling and yearning for years to simply fight for a title. Poirier has finished top ranked UFC Lightweights like Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje in order to earn this opportunity and in those victories comes at least some advantage as I handicap this fight.

Holloway opened -230 and the price has compressed a bit to the current -200.

I struggle to believe that Holloway is a legitimate -200 in this situation based on Poirier’s four years of highly successful results in the Lightweight ranks. I also give Poirier a touch of advantage for the intangible of ‘hunger’ for he’s worked for years to finally capture this shot.

I believe Poirier comes ready to lay it on the line Saturday night and gets his hand raised in what many will call an upset but I am not so certain.

Poirier +180                                                      Fight starts Round 4 +110 (awaiting total for fight)

Israel Adesanya -180 vs. Kelvin Gastelum +150

I am of the belief that Adesanya is a future star for the UFC but I am also of the belief that he has not served his time nor has he faced anywhere near the level of elite UFC competition that Gastelum has.

Adesanya is long, athletic and a kickboxing based fighter who recently went a full three rounds with the fluid but powerless Anderson Silva who also happens to be forty some years old. Adesanya has not faced any real viable world class UFC talent but on Saturday he will and he’ll be tested thoroughly.

Gastelum is going to surprise Adesanya with his quickness and ability to eventually work his way inside of the constantly moving counter striker.  Besides quickness (Gastelum fought for a time at the Welterweight level 170lbs.) he is well more powerful than many realize and Adesanya may discover that first hand come Saturday.

Adesanya does not possess the power to hurt Gastelum in my judgment and his ability to keep outside of Gastelum’s grasp for a full twenty-five minutes is doubtful as I see Gastelum hunting the Kiwi down and presenting Adesanya with his PhD. in MMA Saturday night.

Gastelum +150

--updated 4-13-19 8am PT—

My views on the main event remain relatively unchanged. This is going to be a great fight but at the end of the day I believe Poirier who has been chopping down legit 155’ers will be able to compete for five full with Holloway and look impressive doing it. I will point out that the prop for the fight to start round 4 is now -120.

‘Styles make fights’ so how Adesanya can maintain distance and counterstrike is the key to this fight. How and if Gastelum can work his way inside are his keys to victory. Five rounds makes my decision easier as I believe Kelvin will eventually clock this clown. patient as Adesanya moles will be puking on him in parlays leading up to this fight so wait and get every penny of value you can on the little engine that is going to….

I’ll hold pat with these three releases in the UFC today fight Enthusiasts but will be viewing, if I have any late releases and/or pertinent comments I’ll toss those out via @Twitter.

Good luck to all

Profitable Sports Gaming

NHL Stanley Cup Final: Puck Passion - 4/10/2019

For 2019 NHL Playoff releases please access the "Hockey" tab at the top of the webpage.

Daily results only posted here, for all Future and up to date accounting please access the 'Profitablity' tab.



Isle's +110; Jackets +250 (half); Blues +110

balance to date: 6-1 +6.15u


Leafs +125; Av's -100

balance to date: 3-1 +2.7u

please note that my site grades all future releases as losses until completion. fYI.


Stars +145; Isle's +100

2-0 +2.45 u

Profitable Sports Gaming


2019 Stanley Cup prequil: A Passion play - 4/3/2019

Next week sixteen NHL hockey teams begin competing in the greatest tournament in Sport, for the most coveted championship trophy in Sport, Lord Stanley’s Cup. Over four decades, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend numerous Championship sporting events but the vibe, electricity, anticipation and ferocity present in any arena for a Stanley Cup Playoff hockey game (let alone a Stanley Cup Final game) is unrivaled.

I hold a passion and respect for playoff hockey, its culture and most especially its participants.  What these young players prepare for, undergo and endure in their single minded determination to clasp the Stanley Cup after completing an 82 game regular season is physically and mentally astounding.  

These capable competitors vying for the Cup this year (and each year) are +/- 202 pounds of pure determination, grit, gristle and mean spiritedness.  Each of the 16 teams vying for the chance to hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup hold a singularity of purpose and a dogged determination to fulfill their lifelong dream.

Nightly for ten weeks each coach, player and team display championship mettle, sportsmanship, toughness, tenacity and singularity of purpose in their attempt to hoist the Stanley Cup.

I have found that my passion for this game and my years investing it the playoffs have provided me an historic understanding of the nuances of Championship Hockey as well as profitable wagering on it but my ‘feel’ and historic perspective play a minority part in how to assess these teams.

A majority of the input for determining game, series and Championship winners and therefore profitability in puck passion comes from analytics, yes the numbers and the data I use is applied as follows.

Importance of the Brackets

Teams compete their way through the Wales (Eastern) and Campbell (Western) Conference’s for the opportunity to vie for the Stanley Cup, each by playing their way through a bracket. The bracket format and most especially the match-ups (current and potential) are critical in formulating profitability throughout each level of the playoff season but of course this is common sense.

My 2019 NHL releases will not be posted until next week, so I may scrutinize the brackets (first round match-ups will not be available until the weekend) to determine maximum value as well I need to extract the data from the 82 game regular season and drop that into my excel format as my numbers paint a picture of profitable puck passion.

Philosophy of: ‘From the goal out’

As mentioned I utilize the full season’s team statistics as a foundation for hockey handicapping (and goaltending data also which is individual). Critical in uncovering value in the Stanley Cup Playoffs is a keen understanding how each team finished out the last twenty games of the season and who they will (may) be facing through the completion of the bracket.

In playoff hockey a hot goaltender can dominate the playoff season and single handedly carry a club to the Cup. More importantly, a hot ‘Minder can be infectious and contribute to the elevation of the team as a whole.  Effectively handicapping/assessing each team’s goaltender(s) position and defensive platoons from an analytic perspective (and in what physical/mental condition they enter the grueling quest for the Cup) is mandatory. 

Foundational to my handicapping the Stanley Cup Tournament is the belief that true Stanley Cup contenders play hockey ‘from the goal out’. Any team worthy of investment must have a world class net minder(s) between he pipes insulated by a platoon of dynamic defensemen capable of snuffing shots and limiting scoring chances.

If the defensively dominant team can also score a few goals, then it’s considered a bonus. Never do team’s clasp the Cup by outscoring their opponents rather NHL Stanley Cup Champions hoist because they have effectively executed hockey ‘from the goal out’ throughout the whole of the Tournament.

There are no three on three sessions or sissy shootouts in passionate playoff pucks people. Playoff hockey is a completely different animal than the regular season which is why lower ranked teams often upset higher seeded teams that are unable to play ‘from the goal out’.

Handicapping goaltending, defense, special team’s then offence (in that order) go a long way in determining my futures wagers/series positions with an understanding of the importance of the Brackets.


In honing the sixteen playoff teams down to a profitable few I immediately eliminate teams with less than a world-class net minders and/or a blue line that plays putrid defense. Handicapping goaltending, defense, special team’s then offense from the data I extract from the eighty-two game season provides me with the weaponry to produce profits in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

This approach of “planning the work then working the plan” has proven effective for years and in next week’s Point Spread Weekly I’ll outline my tactics for obtaining the most value on Future positions for the Stanley Cup, Conference finals and individual series.  

Keep those elbows up in the corners.

UFC espn2 Barboza vs. Gaethje: City of Brotherly Shove - 3/30/2019

Welcome fight Enthusiasts to the UFC from Philadelphia, PA. When I think of Philly I go well beyond the Rocky movies as a reference for what a dynamic fight city Philly is/was/will always be. Just the name Philadelphia conjures up images to me of the famous ‘Smokin’ Joe Frazier and his gym on Broad street which he opened in 1975 when I was a young man with a fever of the fight game.

The Zivic boys, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Meldrick Taylor, Bernard Hopkins, Billy Conn, Larry Holmes and of course Smokin Joe all call philly home. So with as rich a history as the City has with fighting it would have been my expectation that the UFC would have honored the community with a card a bit deeper in name recognition and talent than the card we are seeing here today. That said, you all have me on the payroll to uncover value and release winning positions so let’s let fisticuffs fly.

As is customary I’ll open with my column published earlier this week on VSiN’s ‘Point Spread Weekly’ magazine. I’ll update those releases and offer commentary today after having taken in the rest of the week and yesterday’s weigh-ins.

-Let’s Fight-

(All releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business).

--originally published 3-27-19 Point Spread Weekly—

This week’s UFC card, an ESPN2 production comes to us from the ‘City of Brotherly Love’, Philadelphia, PA. where two top seven combatants meet in an elimination fight within the most competitive Lightweight (155lbs.) division of the UFC.

East coast fight fans will notice and most appreciate that this UFC event starts at 3:30pm ET/12:30pm PT on Saturday. Regarding this card, I will say that I am a little surprised at the lack of name recognition and overall depth of talent presented by the UFC to the fan base of one of the great cities in the fight game, Philadelphia.

Edson Barboza -135 vs. Justin Gaethje +115 Lightweight (155lbs) Main Event (Westgate)

In last week’s column I discussed the lack of depth in the Heavyweight division mentioning that there are really only five or six individuals appropriately equip enough to capture that title. In the Lightweight division, depth of World Class talent is not an issue at all in fact it is the deepest and most talented division in the organization.

Justin Gaethje is seventh ranked and arrives with a solid D1 wrestling background that he rarely employs choosing instead to use his unrelenting pressure to initiate striking brawls as opposed to executing take downs and canvas capability.

Gaethje fights like a heavyweight in that he relies on constant forward pressure, power slugging, lethal leg kicks and dynamic toughness to try to bully and batter opponents.

Gaethje’s many grueling fights as well the physical fight camps preparing for those battles have taken their a toll on the thirty year old Gaethje physically based on my observations of his last couple years of fights.

Three fights back Eddie Alvarez, then a top ranked Lightweight knocked Gaethje out in a brutal grueling battle. Gaethje reacted like the fierce warrior he is by turning around in just four months and fighting another most accomplished top five Lightweight mixed martial artist in Dustin Poirier. The result was another crueler with Poirier scoring a fourth round TKO. In each fight Gaethje endured tremendous punishment that in my estimation a fighter never recovers from.

In his fight last August in Lincoln, Ne. Gaethje iced a long, thin, chinless, gatekeeper in James Vick which no doubt provides cause for optimism but I believe that victory like others he may earn against the division’s many journeymen are a far cry from how competitive he may be against any legitimate top five UFC Lightweight.

Edson Barboza is a bona fide top five talent in the UFC’s Lightweight division, he’s decorated in Muay Thai, BJJ, Taekwondo and boxing. He also uses damaging leg kicks as a basis for his striking and much like Poirier, Barboza’s precision striking from his feet/fists percuss opponents in constant waves and from all angles.

Barboza has competed against a more refined caliber of competition and much like Poirier and Alvarez is just a bit to accomplished and polished in MMA than is the fierce, raw brawler Gaethje which is how I see this fight.

Those in the Gaethje’s camp will point out that in past fights mixed martial artists like Kevin Lee and Khabib Nurmagomedov have bested Barboza by bullying him and in essence wrestling the striker.  Gaethje’s style is similar in that he’ll do all he can to elbow, kick and ram Barboza into the fence and try to defeat him by smothering him with power punching from inside. I view this as Gaethje’s only way to win however because his pride will not allow him to win a fight by wrestling which I view as hugely limiting his chances for success here.

If Gaethje could do the impossible and use any form of fight IQ to straight wrestle Barboza then I would consider this fight a pure pick-em. But Gaethje can’t be trusted to exercise his mental muscle for he wants to put on a show.

I see the show as being exciting but I have to side with the more complete fighter in Barboza who I believe will systematically wear the raging bull down and eventually finish him.

Barboza -135

Michael Johnson -115 vs. Josh Emmett -105 Featherweight (145lbs.) (Westgate)

This is basically an elimination fight for each man. Johnson basically a boxer has won his last two but against competition I regard as pedestrian. He’s a fluid striker but when he faces top competition his lack of a real ground game costs him. In Josh Emmett Johnson faces a wrestling based BJJ artist with profuse punching power.

Emmett has been off for some time recovering from a face smashing at the hands of Jeremy Stephens last year and this is his first fight back (which surely brings up questions about how he’ll react after such a devastating beat down). Emmett’s combination of unrelenting pressure, conditioning and well-rounded fight arsenal make him a favorite in this spot despite what may have occurred last year.

My opinion is that the reservations on Emmett are allowing me to obtain the more complete fighter at close to even money. I think Emmett is a worthy favorite in this spot.

Emmett -105

Thank you for reading and good luck

--Updated 3-30-19 11am ET--

Barboza -115 vs. Gaethje +105 Lightweight Main Event

As far as the main event is concerned I will say that Barboza is going to have to weather a furious and frantic first seven minutes or so. Interesting that the total in this fight is one of the few fights on the entire card lined at 1.5 rounds. Makes me a bit nervous as that number has more a correlation to Gaethje than to Barboza in my judgement. In the end however, I must remain true to what and how I have been taught and in this one I remain convinced that skill will overcome might.

The ITD price on Barboza is something I did review but there is not enough value there to opt off of the Barboza -115 position.

Johnson -120 vs. Emmett +100

Emmett is now +110

Yusuff -145 vs. Moraes +135

Yusuff looked like a tornado his last out against pure journeyman material. He is quick, powerful but raw as fresh salmon. Moraes should be the favorite in this fight as he is the more well-rounded, skilled, experienced fighter with more ways to win this fight. These opportunities don’t come around often so I’ll take the rare but warranted action here.

Moraes +135 (2u)

Nzechukwu -160 vs. Craig +150

*With all due respect to a savvy and well respected MMA handicapper using the DBA of “The Bear Jew” on twitter, I must say that this fighter Craig is a 24 Carat tomato can. I have no idea how he can/will win this fight unless Nzechukwu is Tommy…. a deaf, dumb and blind kid. I am looking forward to seeing this one as Craig, a submission specialist's sole hope is the desperation he must have to try to remain on this level.

Any further releases today will appear via @Twitter.

Good Luck to all

Profitable Sports Gaming

UFC +6 Thompson vs. Pettis: Kneebar in Nashville - 3/23/2019

Welcome fight Enthusiasts to what is hopefully a bunch of knockouts from Nashville. Today’s card features a few stray, unwanted mutts mangy enough to make my cut. Releases listed after my main event(s) breakdown published this week in VSiN’s ‘Point Spread Weekly’ periodical are conservative in nature as the focus here in on producing profit card by card as opposed to chasing action….there’s a hundred basketball games today for those that wish to chase cars….

-Let’s Fight-

(All releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business).

--Originally published 3/20/19 Point Spread weekly--

The UFC returns to the U.S. Saturday night with a visit to ‘Good Ol Rocky top’ Nashville, Tennessee. This fight card is laced with important match-ups of lesser known fighters each striving to make a name for themselves within the organization with the aspiration of propelling themselves to higher profile exposure, recognition and income.

My early week perspective of these Nashville fights is that there are some strong, worthy favorites especially on the main card but there is a fight offering value which I’ll address after the Main event and the Co-main event.

Stephen Thompson -450 vs. Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis +350 Welterweight (170lbs.) Main Event

Anthony Pettis has had a storied eleven year run at the top of the Lightweight Division in all the top organizations in MMA but this decision to try to compete in the Welterweight division is questionable. Pettis, a natural Lightweight fighter (155lbs.) began fighting professionally in 2007 and through 2014 he’d amassed a record of 20-2 with a reputation of eliminating challengers with his lightning quickness, improvisional, precision based striking and tremendous athleticism. He beat the who’s who in the Lightweight division and was exalted as the next superstar UFC personality in 2014.

But a funny thing happened to Pettis once he realized the meteoric fame and exposure (namely being put on the front of the Wheaties box) that the rapidly expanding UFC would provide him, a career nosedive. Pettis followed that 2014 run by losing three straight decisions at Lightweight division before displaying desperation by dropping to the Featherweight Division (145lbs.). Pettis had little success making the weight for those Featherweight fights and performed in sluggish, lethargic fashion.

Now we are about to witness a Pettis that is again unsatisfied with the results at his natural division and is stepping up to Welterweight to fight larger, longer, stronger and in many cases fresher fighters. I didn’t say younger because at thirty-one Pettis is not chronologically old for an MMA fighter but considering his career length, the damage he’s endured and the toll fighting takes on a human body Pettis is aged, slowing and well beyond his prime.

Stephen Thompson is a natural Welterweight who’s competed against the top fighters in his division. He went five rounds twice with then champion Tyronn Woodley and he’s defeated top ten ranked fighters in the division named Hendriks, MacDonald and Jorge Masvidal!

Both Pettis and Thompson will stand and make this a striking affair which plays directly into the hands of the taller, longer southpaw Thompson who will also be the faster, quicker more powerful fighter in the Octagon Saturday night.

Thompson is a legitimate top ten talent at the Welterweight division and also a legitimate Pettis is a desperate aging Lightweight who is either going to go for broke or get broken Saturday evening.

Thompson opened -285 and has been slammed up to the current -450 which makes this fight a certain pass on the side. I’ll await totals and props for this bout as there is not value in the side unless one is willing to partake in Pettis.

Curtis Blaydes -300 vs. Justin Willis +250 Heavyweight (265lbs.) Co-Main event

The UFC Heavyweight division is arguably five fighters deep if we are going to consider competitors with diverse MMA skill that have a legitimate chance to compete against current Champion Daniel Cormier.

Blaydes because of his dynamic wrestling base, massive size, conditioning (the Chicagoan trains at elevation in Colorado) and his rapidly developing striking ability (especially his damaging kicks) earn him inclusion in that top five based on my handicapping. His two losses have both come at the hands of Francis Ngannou in which there is no shame and let’s not forget that Blaydes is yet twenty-seven a mere youth in MMA and for Heavyweight fighters.

Blaydes off the flash and somewhat fluky loss to Ngannou in his last outing will be in no mood to play around against a solid heavyweight in Willis whose career opponents outside of an aged Mark Hunt have been mundane at best. Willis’ skills revolve around his sole weapon, the looping left ‘Sunday shot’ and he surely wants to test the tip of Blaydes beak when they meet in the main event.

Willis is a pretty large man with little physique but a degree of boxing experience and savvy. He likes to stalk opponents and encourage them to initiate so he can counter. His biggest weapon is a powerful telegraphed looping left hook so Blaydes would be wise to listen to the words of the late Angelo Dundee when he said, ‘Never hook with a hooker”.

It’s my opinion that Willis will be unable to defend the take down from Blaydes as Blaydes is certain to display this advantage and try to rub Willis out on the floor.  

In order for Willis to get his hand raised and stay on par with Blaydes he must make this a standing striking match yet it’s my belief that Blaydes athleticism, speed and lethal kicking attack will be pronounced in this fight especially once the second round starts and the conditioning of Blaydes begins to manifest itself in dominant fighting.

Blaydes is a deserved chalk. I will again wait to peruse the props to see if the ‘Blaydes ITD” may offer any semblance of value. I am not hopeful….

Deiveson Figueiredo -140 vs. Jussier Formiga +120 Flyweight (125lbs.) elimination fight

Interesting scrap here between two Brazilians in which the winner is propped up to be potential opponent for Champion Henry Cejudo in his next title defense.

Formiga has faced far superior competition and has the more complete developed MMA arsenal. He is currently listed as the number one contender in the division yet he comes an underdog to his opponent number five ranked Deiveson Figueiredo. Figueiredo opened -175 in this fight and a steady trickle of Formiga money has compressed the number to current pricing.

It’s my belief that Formiga while a solid mixed martial artist is less than spectacular and this kid Figueiredo is. Figueirado has the striking skill, speed and unorthodox Capoeira based weaponry to use his legs to maintain distance and punish Formiga as he attempts to work his way inside. Figueiredo provided fight fans a glimpse of his dynamic ability in his last outing by dominating a most accomplished John Moraga and he’ll display similar brilliance Saturday night in this most important Flyweight fight.

Figueiredo -140

--Updated 3/23/19 10am ET--

Current pricing on Deiveson Figueiredo remains the -140 I advised earlier in the week. For pure fight enthusiasts this match-up will display the precision, skill, technique, conditioning and determination that is World Class MMA. The ‘Styles make fights’ template is also in effect here as Formiga is the more versed practitioner while Figueiredo the more violent pressing striker. Enjoy.

Weigh-in's between Blaydes and Wills exemplified what I consider to be a ‘tell’ based on my years in this racket and overall common sense. Willis knows (and we know) that he is out skilled, mis-matched and over his ski’s here.

Blaydes -240

(part 1 open parlay, yes I am a puke today)

Pena -240 vs. Peterson +220

Pena’s hype exceeds his overall game in my judgement and he looked miserable on the scale yesterday. That said little change was make in his pricing which in this case I believe offers value on the other side. While Pena is talented, tall and creative with his striking, his last outing showed that if well-matched he can be awkward and a bit lackadaisical. Peterson is an unrefined brawling based fighter who is unrelenting with pressure and tough as a two-dollar steak. This one is toughness vs. talent and talent may be a touch depleted for this form of onslaught.

Peterson +220 (half)

Vera -160 vs. Saenz +150

As mentioned earlier this week with Gabriel Morency on ‘Game Time Decisions’ I have not been impressed with Vera. He is the well younger, taller man here but I do have reservations about his ability to keep the thirty-eight-year-old Saenz off of him. I do favor the old saddle Saenz with his wresting base to put Vera on his back and grind the ‘eck’ out of the Ecuadorian.

Saenz +150 (half)

Profitable Sports Gaming

UFC +5 Till vs. Masvidal: 'Teep' for the Till'erman - 3/15/2019

Welcome fight Enthusiasts to a Saturday morning slate of Mixed Martial Arts from London,  England.

From the Main Event down to the opening bout this card is sleepy competitive and it features an English fighter in almost each matchup. Getcha tea and crumpets ready to enjoy a stacked UFC card rife with brash British barkers. As is the case each week we'll begin by posting Wednesday's Main Event breakdown then I'll post today's updated comments and releases following. Good Luck to all.

-Let’s Fight-

(All releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business).

--Originally published 3-13-19—

The UFC returns to London, England Saturday for a competitive thirteen fight slate featuring several British mixed martial artists. These bouts begin in the U.S. at 10am PT so fight enthusiasts please take note. In this week’s column we’ll break down the Main event. 

Darren Till -250 vs. Jorge Masvidal +200 Welterweight (170lbs.) Main event 

This will be a terrific contrast in styles and tactics.

Seventh ranked Welterweight Darren Till is a true Middleweight who cuts dynamic (and unsafe) amounts of weight in order to make the 171lb. limit for a Welterweight non-title fight so it’s of utmost importance to monitor his progress during the week up to and including Friday mornings official weigh-ins (2am PT). Once and if he does makes weight, he is then in position to rehydrate and use his massive size and weight (he’ll hit the Octagon on fight night an easy 185/190lbs.) to his advantage.

While I view this as basic cheating, it is allowed by the UFC and does come with risk as cutting abundant weight is a dangerous issue in this sport and Till is the poster boy for its abuse. The other factor about weight is that Till may simply decide he is unwilling to go all the way down to 171lbs. and show up two to five rounds over the limit! 

The UFC penalty for this stunt is a minor slap on the wrist (if he misses he simply negotiates a portion of his purse go to the other fighter and is allowed fight provided the other fighter acquiesces. These cheaters do this knowing the other fighter has trained for months and desperately needs the cheese to pay his camp and his bills so opponents are prone to HAVE to take the fight).

This most minor deterrent which manifests itself into a fighters potential for monumental advantage is another subject for another time but it is absolutely a factor in this fight and there’s no way I move without understanding all ramifications regarding weight I this fight. 

So let’s talk about the fight.

Till comes off a title fight against then Champion Tyronn Woodley in which the loud Liverpudlian was dominated and finished in the second round. It’s my opinion that the UFC rushed Till, a veteran of only six UFC fights into that fight as they tried to spotlight another young, brash striking based European fighter in the vein of Conor McGregor. The issue is of course that Till does not have near the magnetism, talent, precision striking or fluidity of movement as the foul mouthed Irishman.

Till is a Muay Thai, Boxing based striker. The southpaw pressures opponents and works effectively off a 1-2 combination as his basic form of offense as he much prefers to use his pressure to make opponents strike enabling him to use his most effecting counterpunching. Till’s devastating power comes from his left hand and if it lands cleanly the results are devastating.

While he is a huge, aggressive forward pressing striker, Till rarely utilizes kicks and has suspect defense inside the pocket preferring to move rather than evade and defend. He also has little grappling/wrestling acumen.

The one-dimensional power striker has made numerous comments lately that his plan is to return to the destroyer he was previous to his last two fights and finish Masvidal in round one (a tactic that carries high reward but also substantial risk).  It’s Till’s opinion that in his last two bouts his patient approach was in error and contrary to who he is and how he wants to fight.

Till’s size, power and the fact that he is fighting in London do provide him advantage. His lack of a well-rounded fight arsenal both offensively and defensively, his inexperience and the fact that he is coming off of his first loss (which was also a title defeat) are reasons to have reservations about backing the heavily favored Brit.

Till’s opponent Saturday is eleventh ranked UFC Welterweight Jorge Masvidal who is a veteran of forty-five professional fights. He originally fought at the lightweight division before moving up to the more comfortable Welterweight division which is worthy of note.  Till (a legitimate 185 lb. fighter) will appear massive next to Masvidal (previously a 155lb. fighter now competing at 170lbs.).

Masvidal, though a bit undersized for Welterweight is a unique and gifted fighter who of Cuban/Peruvian descent grew up fighting in the Miami street circuit so big men, short men, fat men and many men do not concern Masvidal as he’s been there before and in most cases has come out victorious.

Masvidal’s fighting at its core while is striking based with strong BJJ/wrestling influence but he is unusually unorthodox. He employs very fluid movement, evasive, effective strike defense and he has the pace and cardio to fight for an hour let alone five five-minute rounds.  

In past fights Masvidal has relied a bit too much on pace and it’s manifested itself as starting slowly. He has often frustrated backers with his lack of output and urgency throughout fights instead relying on his ability to evade damage which has resulted in split-decision losses. Masvidal also knows where he is fighting and that it would take unusual circumstances for him to get his hand raised Saturday via the decision. Masvidal is cagey, beguiling and highly unorthodox. He’ll need to confuse/confound the brash Brit and take the fight deep if he is to try to secure any upset in my judgement.

From the opening bell, Till will try to walk Masvidal down and take the fight right to him in his quest to appear invincible before the home Countrymen which could be a superior error (remember Till is only twenty-six and this is but his eighth UFC fight).

I wonder if the patience and smart tactics his handlers suggested to him in his previous fights might be a more effective strategy Saturday as rushing in to engage Masvidal may enable Masvidal to work from inside the pocket (a position he is most effect with and Till is most ineffective at defending).

Masvidal must play matador in this fight and tire the young bull down over the first three or more rounds with the ambition that Till will tire and when he does Masvidal will be able to work his way inside and attack a tuckered Till.

Will Masvidal be able to survive the early onslaught and make a fight of this main event is the looming question?

This line opened Till -220 at Pinnacle and is now Till -240. PSW readers know I scour for value in underdogs. I regard Masvidal a potentially profitable pup in this spot but will exercise patience until the weigh-ins are complete to insure there are no surprises. Besides, why jump the dog now when the line is moving in its favor?

Check back here later in the week and on my webpage for all updates and releases.

Thank You for reading

--Updated 3-15-19 6:30pm ET--

Till -220 vs. Masvidal +200

Other than a little price increase on the brash Brit in the main event this fight has now settled in to current pricing above. Till has made weight and the main event is set to go off tomorrow AM without issue. Till will hold a massive size/power advantage to Masvidal’s experience, guile and craftiness. In the end Jorge tends to say all the right things prior to each of his fights but he then often executes a defensively apt yet offensively lacking effort. Unless I can get Masvidal +220 or better this fight is a pass.

Edwards -130 vs. Nelson +120

Best fight on the card in my opinion. If Nelson can use his thick frame, his clinch game and his will to work his way inside of Edwards striking and get the larger, taller, younger Edwards to the mat then it will be a long, long day for Gunni.

Edwards wrestling, his striking and his conditioning together present Nelson with a most dangerous opponent. In the end, I believe Edwards’ size, his vastly improved wrestling (namely the sprawl and brawl) and his athleticism combine keep Nelson at bay and off balance on the feet. Nelson’s striking though improved is not on par with Edwards and Edwards ground ability is such that it may be no automatic sub even if Nelson manages to get this fight to the floor. Edwards past body of work, his size and his upward ascent are not interrupted tomorrow am.

Edwards -117 (released via Twitter)

Silva -140 vs. Roberts +130

Roberts is a local who fights on all the English and European cards. He is athletic and a solid striking based fighter. Silva, a Brazilian who lives in London, trains in there and whose abode is within a block or two of the O2 arena is also in his back yard with plenty of hommies in attendance also. Though he took time off his return to the Octagon last out against Taleb was stellar and in Danny Roberts he gets a similarly fashioned one dimensional journeyman striker to compete against. This is a fine spot for Silva and I’ll use him as the first half of a rare parlay tied to Dom Reyes who is one bad hombre.

Silva -140/Reyes -220 (+150)

Breese -110 vs. Heinisch +100

Fight cancelled

Wrong bloke is being bet here amigos. Heinisch is wide, deliberate and telegraphing with his shot but he is tough, durable and determined. Breese is well the more experienced man, he longer, taller, younger, a southie and will hold dynamic reach advantages over the singularly dimensional Heinisch. Heinisch is a fine story but Breese is the much finer fighter.

Breese -110

McCann -200 vs. Cachoeira +190

McCann is a complete jobber. She’s a typical European boxing based striker who stands erect throughout her fights. She’s as tough as a three-dollar steak but she is slow, premeditated with her wide looping punches and she has very suspect ground defense. Enter Pricilla Cachoeira who is a competent striker but will be the taller, longer fighter. Cachoeira is getting discounted because the whuppin she took at the hands of Champion Shevchenko last year but I regard that fight as her PhD. In MMA. Cachoeira will work this stubby little English woman into a pulp. I believe there is no way McCann should be favored in this fight let alone a -200 chalk.

Cachoeira +200 (half)

*Look for an additional release via @Twitter today fight Enthusiasts as Tom Breese has been removed from today's card

Profitable Sports Gaming

UFC +4 Dos Santos vs. Lewis: KO's in Kansas - 3/9/2019

This week’s UFC card appears to have some mangy Kansas canine’s ready to produce top effort. I’ll be brief today as I just drove in from Las Vegas and am a bit later than usual posting these releases. As usual my main event breakdown from VSiN’s ‘Point Spread Weekly’ appears first with updated comments following. Good Luck to all.

-Let’s Fight-

(All releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business).

--Originally published 3-6-19—

The UFC wanders to Wichita, KS for this week’s ESPN+ fight production. This card lacks the name recognition and skill level of last week’s 235 but there are a couple of heavyweight match-ups on the main card as well a few other fights that should entertain. Here’s a look at the main event.

Junior Dos Santos -220 vs. Derrick Lewis +180 Heavyweight (265lb. limit) Main Event

Third ranked UFC Heavyweight Contender Derrick Lewis is a fine man, an entertaining man but he is not at all a well-conditioned man. Lewis fights with the trust that one of his profusely powerful ‘Sunday shots’ (because you can see them coming from last Sunday) will land and end any opponent’s night. While he owns an odd victory over Francis Ngannou his list of wins is far less impressive than that of JDS.

Lewis is relatively athletic and explosive for the first four minutes of any fight but after that time his size, his lack of conditioning and his deliberate, telegraphed striking game become ineffective. At that point his only path to offense is trying to get the opponent down so he can use his girth to take top position and reign ground and pound. Lastly, Lewis has had to deal with back issues for years in fact he’s had to cancel fights because of it.

Lewis is a huge man who must cut weight to get to the 265lb. limit. He deals with a bad back that has flared up on him on past occasions, he relies on power punching and grappling opponents to the floor and he’s in against a former world Champion who is experiencing career resurgence. 

Junior Dos Santos is eighth ranked in the division and has won his last two fights against hulking opponents with very similar fight characteristics that have prepared JDS acutely for this fight. JDS has learned since his 2017 loss to Stipe Miocic that toe-to-toe is not always the best way to go, especially for an experience laden Heavyweight with twelve years and twenty-five heavyweight fights under his belt.

JDS has learned how to be a professional prize fighter as he now employs strategic movement, a sturdy jab and distance control to pile up points as well damage the forward moving pursuer with the damaging straight power punches that he has always possessed.

Dos Santos opened a reasonable -145 and was immediately bet up to the current price of -220 for all the reasons mentioned above. It’s my judgment that Dos Santos will open this fight cautious of the ‘Black Beasts’ power. He’ll quickly nullify that power with movement and counterpunching to take the larger man into the second round where this fight will turn into a one sided beating. The longer Lewis lasts the more damage he’s going to absorb so I do believe that JDS can finish Lewis in this fight. I’m interested in the totals and the props which have not yet been fully released.

As far as the wagering on the side of this fight, any value on JDS has gone and I can’t wager on a man as one-dimensional as Lewis is with back issues to boot so I’ll pass.

As usual these fighters will all weigh-in Friday morning which is of great importance. I’ll be scouring those weigh-ins as well any other developments prior to the opening bell as the week wears on. Any fight releases this week will come via my @GambLLou twitter account.

Last week’s UFC 235 proved profitable as both released fighters Munhoz +155 and Walker -125 both won in impressive knock-out fashion. Thus far in 2019 I stand 3-3 Even with PSW releases. Thank You to all those reading.

--Updated 3-9-19 1:20pm ET--

I have little else to add about the main event. Should be good watching and it comes down to whether the beast can catch Dos Santos with hammer to the head.

Millender -110 vs. Zaleski Dos Santos +100

I released this earlier in the week ZDS +115 as the plus price began to compress. Millender has the size and the abilities but he does not have the experience nor the weathered tasted of being grossly overlooked in his mouth. ZDS is a bad hombre who I believe will be stronger and more determined in the Octagon tonight. This is a favorable match-up for ZDS.

Zaleski Dos Santos +100

Smolka -115 vs. Schnell +105

This was released yesterday with the above ZDS and the next two on ‘The Edge’ with Matt Youmans and JVY on VSiN. Overall I am not impressed with Scnell. Smolka has an awkward yet effective submission game and he is crafty. His recent sobriety also contributes to my confidence that this is a great spot for him against a young man that is overmatched.

Smolka -115

Martin -220 vs. Moraes +200

Martin will get a look and feel of a real 170lb. fighter tonight and I believe the Brazilian will stand right up to Martin n skill, conditioning and heart. What I also feel is that Moraes’ body of work makes him well closer to a pick-em or slight dog in this fight at the most. Moraes has gone 4-1 in his last five fights with the only loss being to Kamaru Usman. Moraes +200 is great value.

Moraes +200

Ivanov -110 vs. Rothwell 100

Ivanov is a one dimensional grappling based fighter who is slow and telegraphing with his strikes but determined and unrelenting in his attempt to get inside any opponent to initiate the grapple. Rothwell has been off for a few years and while that may have effects on quick lighter weight fighters it has leeser effect on the whales.

I handicap Rothwell as salty enough to have stayed busy in his absence and I’ll go as far as to say that except for timing (which may be nullified by Ivanov’s lack of quickness and athleticism) the time off may have actually helped big Ben.

Rothwell +100 

Profitable Sports Gaming


UFC 235 Jones vs. Smith: Vegas Golden Fights - 3/2/2019

Welcome fight Enthusiasts to UFC 235. Tonight’s card is steeped in excellent match-ups many of which I feel offer betting value. Another positive is that it comes directly after last week’s miserable result in Prague so we can wipe that taste out with a couple of value laden Labradors today. Ol’ Uncle Louie has been in the gym training late for this fight card so let’s first review my handful of breakdowns already published via VSiN’s ‘Point Spread Weekly’ publication this past Wednesday.

Submitting these positions so early in the week are surely excellent tests for me as it forces me to go on record and more importantly advise astutely.

THE goal in this racket is to get the best of the number at any ethical cost and I write with that in mind no matter what time in the week it may be. These Saturday columns allow readers to be updated upon the early week’s recommendations and get my last take after all weigh-ins and face-offs have transpired and there remains only one thing left to do….

-Let’s Fight-

(All releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business).

--Originally published 2-27-19--

Saturday’s UFC 235 from Las Vegas, NV offers fight fans a slate in which nine of the thirteen scheduled bouts are highly competitive match-ups. In this week’s edition of ‘Insight the Octagon’, I‘ll provide angles on a handful of these ultra-competitive fights.

Champion Jon Jones -800 vs. Anthony Smith +500 Light-Heavyweight Championship (205lbs.)

It’s my belief that Jones is the most talented, destructive mixed martial artist in the history of the UFC. His combination of height, length, world class wresting pedigree, bad intention and explosive striking attack make him the most dangerous fighter I have ever witnessed. If Jones shows up motivated to fight on any particular evening, it’s my judgement that he wins the fight whether it’s in the Light-Heavyweight or Heavyweight division.

Jones’ challenger Anthony Smith has decent height and reach himself but in each case he’ll be giving away advantage in each to Jones whose level of competition is more elite than anyone Smith has faced. In fact, Smith’s last loss was to fellow Light-Heavyweight and current title contender Thiago Santos who destroyed Jan Blachowicz last week. In that fight (both Smith and Santos’ last at Middleweight) Santos stopped Smith with a thundering leg kick to the body.

Saturday Smith is fighting a more complete destructive fighting force than he has ever faced. The numerous advantages Jones possesses in this fight contribute to his -750 price. I’ll be scouring the props and totals markets looking for value other than a side position and will have more ‘suggestions’ once weigh-ins are complete and the market has had a chance to settle a bit.

Champion Tyron Woodley -180 vs. Kamaru Usman +160 Welterweight Championship (170lbs.)

Challenger Kamaru Usman is a wrestling based mixed martial artist who will hold height, reach and a five-year youth advantage over the champion when the cage door slams Saturday. Usman’s level of competition until his recent fight against Raphael Dos Anjos and his relative lack of overall Octagon experience are the reasons I feel he is likely a future contender but not quite ready for the fury the Champion is going to impose.  

Woodley gets overlooked and is under-appreciated in my estimation. He’s defended his title over five rounds on three separate occasions so we know he has the tank to fight twenty-five minutes. His fight IQ may be his most underappreciated trait as Woodley fully understands and has displayed how to win a five-round fight.

It’s Woodley’s experience, wrestling superiority and striking power that that put Usman in a position of being overmatched Saturday night. I’ll hold off on making this fight an official release with the aspiration that this price may compress a little as we get closer to the opening bell. I’m aware that folks are following so any move will be posted on @Twitter.

Ben Askren -275 vs. Robbie Lawler +235 Welterweight (170lbs.)

Newcomer Askren with his world class wrestling pedigree (getting to be a theme eh?) is getting plenty of respect against former Champion ‘Ruthless’ Robbie Lawler. Lawler is a violent and relentless mixed martial artist but he is now a war torn thirty-six and has been fighting professionally since 2001. His age, the damage he has endured (he’s coming off knee ligament and cartilage damage from his last fight) and his opponent all spell one long night for Lawler who is fully prepared for what’s coming and has seen it prior. The big question is, can he do anything to stop the smothering and unrelenting pressure Askren applies which both eliminate a fighter’s ability to extend then sap them of their will? Askren opened a modest -185 so current pricing forces patience and a perusal of the props.

Here are a couple fights I believe offer value.

Garbrandt -175 vs. Munhoz +155 Bantamweight (135lbs.)

The lower weight guys usually fight to decisions but these two fighters are finishers.

Garbrandt is a versed, powerful striker but he’s coming off of two devastating beat down losses to Champion TJ Dillashaw.  Garbrandt’s style is to walk opponents down to engage which may be dangerous for a guy who has been touched a couple times on the teeth. Garbrandt brings a potentially fragile mentality off of those losses and there are legitimate questions pertaining to his ability to take a fist flush to the face. I regard this as a dangerous spot for Garbrandt. 

Munhoz has been running hot and displaying growth winning six of his last seven fights highlighted by a decisive win over Bryan Caraway in his last outing. Munhoz who was originally known as a submission specialist has steadily improved his stand up making him a tough, complete fighter.

In this match-up Munhoz’s only shortcoming (limited reach) is muted as he gives away only an inch to Garbrandt. Munhoz must navigate the early minutes of this fight when Garbrandt comes chasing and take this fight into the second and third rounds where he may begin to apply pressure, earn his way inside of Garbrandt and maul him onto to the mat.

Munhoz +155

Walker -125 vs. Cirkunov +105 Light Heavyweight (205lbs.)

Back to the big bangers we go. Misha Cirkunov is a black belt in BJJ but has some wrestling ability as well power in both hands. Cirkunov who is more plodding and without much evasiveness has faced superior opposition and looks to regain some momentum in the division after two KO losses to a couple of top rated Light Heavyweights before returning to get his hand raised in his last fight.

His opponent is a Brazilian who competed regionally in the European circuit before arriving to the UFC and impressing wildly. Walker is a physical specimen with freakish explosion and power yet he is quite inexperienced at this stage.  

Walker will be the taller, longer, younger, faster fighter in the Octagon Saturday as well he arrives with massive momentum. His impressive finish just last month against Justin Ledet allowed everyone to take notice of Walkers ferocity and fury.

Walker is a fighter brimming with confidence as well he took this challenge on short notice which is a substantial Walker benefit. Cirkunov had to accept Walker as a late replacement after the fighter he’d been preparing for weeks (a completely different style of opponent in Ovince St. Preux) pulled out of this match-up due to injury.

Circunov is going to have to find a way inside the pocket against the power, precision and speed striking of Walker in order to earn any form of advantage while Walker must use movement and counterstriking to maintain distance so he can paint Circunov as he strives to get inside. Walker opened -215 which may have been a bit high but I like what I see from Walker and there’s nothing in the fight game like youth, speed, size and momentum.

Walker -125

--Updated 3-2-19 11:15am ET—

For UFC 235 I broke down several fights because the top of the card appears to me to be favorite heavy and the values I spotted earlier in the week were fights other than the two main events though that changed mid-week. Let’s review.

My thoughts on Jones -850 and Smith +650 remain unchanged. To me it’s when and how JBJ wants to get this finished so I’ll watch and know that the ‘Makers are going to count profit once Jones gets his hand raised. There’s fan action on Smith at the price which reinforces one thing to me that I have always relied on, “everybody” is usually wrong.

In the Woodley -155 vs. Usman +145 fight I did release Tyron once his price hit the market low of Woodley -145 and that release was put out on @Twitter. That fight is going to be highly competitive but experience in five round affairs and Woodley’s athleticism provide him a clear edge in my judgement.

My release of Munhoz +155 paid off as that line is now Garbrandt -140 vs. Munhoz +130 so I hold market advantage on the mutt Munhoz. Now the difficult part, winning!

Walker -150 vs. Circunov +140 is another fight where moving early week allowed us to capture that absolute best price thus far on Walker -125. Circunov must force this to the floor and Walker needs to keep walking to make it his fight. ‘Styles make fights’ as my hero in the fight game taught me…. Respect and admiration to the late great Mr. Angelo Dundee.

So in my podcast with Brian Edwards (Games Galore Podcast) as well my appearances on VSiN’s the Edge with Matt Youmans and Jonathan Von Tobel I discussed two other fighters I believe offered value and I’m not toe one to firmly release a fight one place then disregard it in the other so here are a couple half unit releases from those segments done Wednesday and Friday respectively.

Gall -220 vs. Sanchez +210

My comments early week were that Sanchez’s victories over Jim Miller and Marcin Held displayed to me an ability to keep grappling based opponents upright which is all Gall is…though an excellent one. Diego is long in the tooth but one tough piece of leather and his body of work, the competition level he’s faced and Galls inexperience all lead me to believe that Diego’s a dirty dog.

Sanchez +210 

Shahbazyan -155 vs. Byrd +145

Twenty-one-year-old Shahbazyan earns his PhD. In MMA tonight. Byrd is the more fluid boxer and his effectiveness in eliminating Shabazyan’s space is critical here. Byrd must keep this standing but from an inside the pocket position where he’ll be able to outpoint and outwork the taller, longer well less experienced fighter. Look for a groping, mauling slow dance with Byrd’s head planted on Shabazyan’s chest for fifteen minutes here.

Byrd +145 (half)

Profitable Sports Gaming


UFC +3 Blachowicz vs. Santos: Punched out in Prague - 2/22/2019

Welcome fight enthusiasts to the third ESPN + production of the UFC. Tomorrow’s fight card from Prague drops at 8am PT so be aware of the early coverage when considering the positions put forth below.

As is customary my main event breakdown for VSiN’s ‘Point Spread Weekly’ publication is posted first followed by any update of the main event then other releases. This card has plenty of dynamic match-ups and we’ve been running hot lately so let’s persevere in Prague!

-Let’s Fight-

(All releases are understood to be a standard wager of one unit or $100.00.  I employ $100.00 to easily track results as every release is accounted for.  On line, up to date reporting for all sporting events I work is available by accessing the ‘Profitability’ tab on the webpage.  The Profitability tab displays win percentage, gross profit and ROI by week, month and year.  Profitable Sports Gaming, it’s business).

--Originally published 2-20-19--

Last Week’s UFC main event prediction of Cain Velasquez was a good old fashioned miss. Despite correctly tracking line movement and gaining every pricing advantage on Velasquez it was evident that his time off coupled with Ngannou’s power made for one disappointing result.

The best news in the fight game is that there is a ten to twelve event fight card almost each week so it’s time to turn the page and focus ahead to this week’s ESPN+ production which will take place in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

Important to note is that the time of this highly international fight card will be Saturday morning beginning 10am PT.

Thiago ‘Marreta’ Santos -125 vs. Jan Blachowicz +105 Light Heavyweight (205lbs) Main Event

We have discussed how regional and somewhat obscure some of these foreign fight cards can be yet this card from Prague is rife with competitive match-ups and a very diverse mix of international fighters.

Travelling in from Brazil is one confident striking based sledgehammer in sixth ranked Thiago Santos (Marreta means sledgehammer in Portuguese). Santos who spent much of his career at the 185lb. Middleweight division has been impressive in finishing both his opponents at this new weight class.

Santos is atypical of most Brazilian fighters in that he is a Muay Thai, Capoeira based striker. Santos does have a black belt in BJJ which on paper seems to fulfill his fight arsenal but Santos does not show up to any fight to grapple, rather he shows up to finish opponents violently.

Since his submission loss to Eric Spicely in 2016 Santos has finished six of his last eight opponents with a KO loss to journeyman David Branch in April of last year.  That loss to Spicely exposed Santos’ lack of any real wrestling ability and his loss to Branch exposed a chin that is fragile when flushed.

The talent level of his opponents (especially the last two men he fought at Light Heavyweight) are evidence that Blachowicz in a move up in class for Santos as well he must navigate a trip across the world to fight the European in his back yard.

Third ranked UFC Light heavyweight Jan Blachowicz fights similarly to Santos in that he is a boxing/kickboxing based fighter with a black belt in BJJ. He’s won his last four fights against fighters who all exceed the skill level of Santos’ last opponents in my judgement and outside of his competitive loss to Alexander Gustaffson, Blachowicz’s other setbacks have come primarily from wrestling based fighters which Santos is not.

I expect this fight to take place on the feet for Santos is highly confident that his collaboration of striking and spinning kicks will be imposing enough to back up Blachowicz and allow Santos to destroy at distance.

Blachowicz lacks flash, self-promotion and fluid movement but he is well equip with a refined power based striking game, durability, toughness and a granite beard. He’ll utilize bludgeoning leg kicks as a weapon designed to take movement away from ‘Marreta’ and force him to back up thus enabling Blachowicz to bully the Brazilian backwards and expose a weakness to the muscled monster, that fragile jaw.

I handicap Blachowicz a slight favorite on a neutral site but the crowd will be soundly backing Blachowicz, a Pole fighting in Prague. Gaining an underdog price on a proven lightweight against a newcomer to the division who will be giving away size and weight is a position I will take.

Blachowicz +105

Last week my only miss on was Cain Velasquez. I encourage readers to tune into VSiN regularly and check the webpage day of the fights for all updates and final releases.

--Updated 2-22-19 2pm ET--

Blachowicz and Santos has settled into a basic pick-em fight so grabbing value early in the week with the dog price on Jan Blachowicz insures that we hold market advantage. Now the difficult part. Winning the fight against a most dangerous and explosive fighter in Thiago Santos. I believe that in this main event diligence will overcome destruction.

Oleksiejczuk -200 vs. Villante +180

Longo/Serra have been pounding on Gian to get his fights to the ground. I think he’ll finally listen. If Villante wrestles he wins.

Villante +180 (half)

Yan -290 vs. Dodson +260

I expressed with Gabriel Morency this past week on Game Time decisions (FNTSY Sports Network) my surprise at this line. Yan is a capable fighter without question but I felt he looked less than spectacular in his last fight against a guy I feel is less a fighter than Dodson. Yan is the larger fighter here, he’s tough, strikes well and is a superb wrestler but he’ll be giving away quickness, speed and experience in the UFC. Dodson knows the organization sees him as a stepping stone. Let’s see if that motivates the consummate decision fighter.

Dodson +260 (half)

Hadzovic -120 vs. Reyes +110

In nine fights these two have zero combined takedowns. Hadzovic going to be had here.

Reyes +110 (half)

Ismagulov -280 vs. Alvarez +240

Ismagulov is the ferocious striker but he’s much the smaller man though his past pedigree suggests he is a competent fighter. Alvarez is the younger, larger, longer grappling based fighter. Alvarez a ship in from Spain must drag Ismagulov to the mat for a maul provided he can weather the early strike storm from the raging Russian.

Alvarez +240 (half)

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